Mik Artistik, Bags of Life


We don’t normally do London stuff on Culture Vulture. But this time we’re making an exception. Local legend – and that’s not too strong a word – Mik Artistic has landed himself an exhibition in the Off-Site Gallery, not far from Kings Cross.

Here’s the blurb and a lovely little film …

Well known across Yorkshire as ‘the brown paper bag man’, Mik Artistik, (age 57), earns his living by drawing portraits (in Biro) of ordinary people on ordinary brown paper bags, Artistik also writes songs about his world, performing them in the ‘Ego Trip Band’, with Jonny Flockton on guitar, Benson Walker on bass and Mik singing.

Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip has drawn wild and enthusiastic crowds at Glastonbury, Latitude, Leeds, and Port Elliot Festival’s & bars and clubs throughout the North of England.


“Sensational.” John Cooper Clarke

“Drawing in biro was a revelation, I was 27 years old, on the dole and I had no idea how I would survive the next 27 years. I drew me mate in pen in a laundrette… and bang , I came alive! Drawing brought me back into the world.

I started “bagging” people in 1983, I had no other income, I was determined to live by my art.

From then on I went out, wandering in and out of shops , pubs, doing maybe 30 bags a week. Like a plumber, I had a shift to do! People talk to me as I draw. They can unload things to this mad stranger with a biro and a bag. It’s like they’ve taken the foot of the pedal. I know it’s done when the person stares back at me from the bag. Then I pass the drawing over to see if they like it. Sometimes people are shocked by what they see, sometimes they see their Dad, their Mother in the drawing.

It’s lovely to watch someone smile, light up. That’s Bag’s Of life.”

Who Is Mik Artistik? from Jackie Jarvis on Vimeo.


For more information about Mik Artistik please see www.mikartistik.com